In a city steeped in architectural history, T+L readers reward properties that balance modern amenities with heritage and tradition.
Past and present collide beautifully at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, voted one of the top properties in Chicago by T+L readers for the second year in a row. Housed in an 1893 landmark — with a Venetian Gothic façade inspired by the Doge’s Palace, no less — the hotel was once a sporting club for the city’s elite. Today the 241-room property still features the original chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling fireplaces, but it also has a new game room where guests can play bocce and billiards. “There’s no need to ever leave the building — stunning restoration and original architecture,” said one reader. Added another: “This is a very sexy hotel.”
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.
Related: The 2018 World's Best Awards
Many of the properties that our readers chose as their favorite Chicago stays impress with their unique architectural details. The Ritz-Carlton, for example, just unveiled a $100 million restoration. The expanded lobby bar now hums with energy, and a magnificent, suspended glass sculpture, Flying Wave, anchors the lobby space. Respondents also applauded the Blackstone, which joined Marriott’s Autograph Collection in 2017, for its $12 million refresh. The original crown molding and brass elevators sit well with the new art collection displaying more than 1,600 pieces by local artists.
Another property new to the list in 2018 is the Talbott Hotel. Similar to the Blackstone, this historic space also recently underwent a complete makeover —think marble-accented bathrooms, champagne-colored metal bed frames, and waterfall showers. Readers love the convenient location in the Gold Coast and rave about the service. “We stayed with the whole family for our first trip to Chicago, and it was one of the best experiences we have ever had together,” said one reader. “The concierge was extremely helpful, and the location was absolutely perfect.”
But the Langham, Chicago, which is set inside Mies van der Rohe’s 52-story IBM Building, came out on top this year. For more on why this property resonated with our audience — and to see this year’s full list of winners — read on.